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The All-Star Game is almost here. Just one week remains for teams to finagle their players into the best situation (and avoid using pitchers Sunday they want to be All Stars). Injuries remain a factor for many teams; Toronto has just lost Edward Encarnacion to a quad strain. With several divisions in flux, let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Monday, July 7, before the day’s games:
It’s been a so-so time for the Brewers, but they still have a good lead in their division, and two games on the Dodgers. Milwaukee could certainly stand to get the bats going again, but have all they need to do so.
The Dodgers have been scoring plenty of runs, and winning along with it. However, the Braves had a nine-game winning streak that they just lost. The Braves have a highly respected closer that was a great help in keeping that streak going, but the Braves would also have to counter Clayton Kershaw at least twice. But given that he hasn’t given up an earned run in four straight starts, winning four of the remaining five games might be a bit much.
The Giants took two straight from San Diego, but their slide has nevertheless continued. The Nationals aren’t doing much worse than Atlanta, and remain half a game out of the division lead. At this rate, Washington won’t have much trouble.
The Athletics are still easily the best team in all of baseball. Being so far ahead in the same division as the second-best team in all of baseball really helps their credibility, and Oakland has kept it up for some time now.
Detroit has lost three straight, but neither ace failed them against Tampa. Still, Baltimore has won six of seven; their performances have led to three of their players being voted in as starters for the All-Star Game (though Matt Wieters won’t be going due to injury). This series would likely depend on whether the top of Detroit’s rotation can keep Baltimore’s offense at bay, especially with Joe Nathan not a guarantee with a lead.
Seattle has done well to keep their slot established, with a 2.0-game lead on the last Wildcard spot. However, the Angels have won four straight and have the Majors’ second-best overall record, despite a losing road record. With everything the Angels have been doing this season, all that makes this a tough game for Seattle.
Tags: Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, MLB Playoffs, Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, Washington Nationals